The ages of consent for sexual activity vary by jurisdiction across Asia. The specific activity engaged in or the gender of its participants can also be affected by the law. Below is a discussion of the various laws dealing with this subject. The highlighted age refers to an age at or above which an individual can engage in unfettered sexual relations with another who is also at or above that age. Other variables, for example homosexual relations or close in age exceptions may exist and are noted when relevant - For example Indonesia and Japan (some places).
In China (PRC) the national legal age of consent for sexual activity is 14 years, regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.. However, most provinces have ordinances that prohibit "immoral sexual acts" or "Promiscuity" with female minors. The phrases "Immoral sexual acts" and "Promiscuity" are not strictly defined. It is mainly used to prevent female minors from engaging in prostitution, with a special clause provisioning for "Whoring girls aged under 24."
In Hong Kong (China) the legal age of consent for sexual activity is 16 years, regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation (Crimes Ord., Cap 200 and a Court Order in 2005) .
Age of consent is 16 years for heterosexual men and both lesbian and heterosexual women. Male Homosexual activities are punishable with fine to life imprisonment under Section 377 although no convictions in case of consenting adults has been recorded in the past few decades. This section is under a constitutional challenge at the Delhi High Court but the government is not speaking in one voice on this issue and as a result the legal challenge is going very slow.
In the case of marriage sex with a female younger than 15 is considered rape under Section 375 of the Indian Penal Code except in the Territory of Manipur where this age is 14.Laws - IPC - Section 375Infochange India News Features Agenda Who is a child?
In Indonesia the age of consent for heterosexual sexual activity is 12 years for males and 16 years for females. However, the homosexual age of consent is 18 for females and males .
According to Israeli's law list (1977), the age of consent in Israel is 16 for any form of sex. Sexual Relationships are allowed from ages 14-16, as long as the male is not older than the female by 3 years, and both sides agree and do it willingly (example: a 17 year old male may have sex with a 14 year old female, and an 18 year old male may have sex with 15 year old female).
The National age of consent in Japan is 13, regardless of sexual orientation and/or gender, as specified by the Japanese Penal Code Articles 176 and 177. However, most prefectures have ordinances that prohibit "immoral sexual acts" with minors. The phrase "Immoral sexual acts" is not strictly defined. It is mainly used to prevent minors from engaging in quasi prostitution (e.g. Enjo k?sai). It is unclear if the translated term "minors" refers to children (defined as those aged under 18) or to those who have not reached maturity (defined as those under 20). Also, some prefectures have a higher age of consent for same-gender sexual conduct, which is not consistant with the National legislation.
The age of consent is 18 years, regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.
The age of consent for sex in Malaysia is 16 for both males and females. Source: Interpol. Homosexual activities are punisable with imprisonment for up to 20 years under section 377A, B, C and D - Even death pealty in some extreamly muslim states and societies.
The age of sexual consent is 12, but contact with minors under the age of 18 is an offense, if the minor consents to any sexual acts for money, gain, or any other remuneration, or as the result of an influence of any adult person.
See Russia's entry at Ages of consent in Europe
The age of consent in Singapore is 16 for all opposite-sex activity and only female same-sex sexual activity. Under section 377A (outrages on decency) in the Penal Code states that; Any male person who, in public or private, commits, or abets the commission of, or procures or attempts to procure the commission by any male person of, any act of gross indecency with another male person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years. Which means all male same-sex sexual activity (including mutual masturbation, oral and/or anal sex) is still illegal and the punishment is up to two (2) years jail, hardly ever enforced upon.
The age of consent in South Korea is 13 regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.
The age of consent in Taiwan is 16, regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.
The age of consent is 17 regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation.
The age of consent in Thailand is 15 (with the below caveat) as specified by article 279 of the Thai Criminal Code. The current legislation applies to all regardless of gender and/or sexual orientation, although it is a common misconception that it applies only to women.
However parts of the Prevention and Suppression of Prostitution Act which disallow any sexual contact with prostitutes under the age of 18, are widely interpreted by some local authorities to cover sexual acts classed as "obscenity for personal gratification". Also from the Penal Code Amendment Act of 1997 Section 283bis, having sex with child under 18 is a compoundable offense even with the consent of that person. The parent or the child may file charge against the other side if he or she later regrets his or her own action. This ostensibly makes the Thai unfettered age of consent 18.
A high profile example of this application of the law was a statutory rape charge filed against the lead singer of the Thai band Big Ass for allegedly having had sex with a (then) 16 year old girl. The charge was filed by the girl after the singer refused to take responsibility for her baby. The singer has since been cleared of being the baby's father due to the results of a paternity test and he received 2 years suspended sentence. &
See Turkey's entry at Ages of consent in Europe
The age of consent in Uzbekistan is 16 for heterosexual males (oral sex for homosexual males) and both lesbian and heterosexual females Only male homosexual anal intercourse is punishable with imprisonment for up to 3 years (called Besoqolbozlik). .
Item number 15 in Yemeni civil law reads that "no girl or boy can get married before the age of 15." However, this item was amended in 1998 so parents could make a contract of marriage between their children even if they are under the age of 15. But the husband cannot be intimate with her until she is ready or mature.
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